New Features Of Apple Watch – Marketing Ploy?
In Apple’s most recent attempt to make consumers care about the Apple Watch, the company has announced that the newest iterations of its product will now be capable of tracking fitness goals for people in wheelchairs.
What This Means
According to Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, the feature will track calories burned and distance traveled in the wheelchair in the same way it currently tracks walking or running. According to Williams, the feature is all about “serving every walk of life,” and not about market opportunities. It certainly couldn’t be about the fact that, according to research group IDC, Fitbits have a 3-to-1 market share over Apple Watches.
Why Apple is Desperate For a New Market
So why is Apple’s new target audience wheelchair-bound fitness nerds? To put it simply, because they are running out of options. Apple Watch sales have been terrible since the original iteration of the product was launched a little over a year ago. While many factors play a role in the Apple Watch’s less-than-stellar sales, one of the biggest contributors is the fact that users must have an iPhone wirelessly connected to the watch in order for it to perform almost every useful function. Calling, texting, RSS and reminders all have to sync to the watch from a nearby iPhone. This completely defeats the stated purpose of the Apple Watch, which is to provide a more “in the moment” level of engagement that cuts down on consumers staring at their phone screens so much during the day.
This massive flaw is compounded by the fact that these watches cost as much as, and usually a lot more than, a brand-new iPhone. Even the cheapest model, the Apple Watch Sport, costs upwards of $350. The higher-tier options cost anywhere from $549 to $17,000.
To add one more nail in the Apple Watch coffin, telephone service providers have no interest in subsidizing the cost for these watches the way they do for iPhones and iPads. Then again, when the latest, most exciting news about the Apple Watch is all about the wristbands, it isn’t exactly difficult to see why phone companies aren’t jumping to offer great deals on them. Some electronics stores like Best Buy have recently been running promotions for a slight discount on the cheaper models, but this likely won’t boost sales significantly.
The Impact on Online Gambling
It’s also important to note that the online gambling industry is more or less pretending like the Apple Watch doesn’t exist. Typically, the online gaming industry is notorious for jumping on every new technology as soon as it becomes available. They did it with smartphones and tablets, and they are doing it now with virtual reality. The fact that they are more or less ignoring the “wearable technology” bandwagon is a glaring red flag that there just isn’t a market for this sort of thing yet.
So far, the only software provider that has made an effort to develop some kind of platform for the Apple Watch is Microgaming. Since Microgaming is an industry behemoth, it’s not shocking that they would allocate some of their resources to try to make the “wearable casino” work. As it stands, the company has only released a few games and has no plans whatsoever to release any more. The fact that even Microgaming can’t entice people to try an Apple product should tell Apple that they are clearly doing something wrong.
One can only hope that Apple will get their marketing and product development back on track in the coming years. Honestly, the fact that they’re trying so hard to market the Apple Watch as a fitness tracker for wheelchair-bound consumers reeks of desperation.